Tony Winner George S. Irving Dies at 94
BroadwayWorld.com is sad to report the death of actor George S. Irving at 94 years old.
During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Irving was waving a beer mug in the chorus of a touring production of The Student Prince at the National Theatre in Washington. After that close brush with history, he went on to his Broadway debut in the original company of Oklahoma!
There followed a stint among the greatest generation, and when World War II closed he returned to the stage in Call Me Mister, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Tovarich, I Remember Mama, Me and Juliet, An Evening with Richard Nixon (Drama Desk Award), So Long, 174th Street, Irene (Tony Award), On Your Toes and Me and My Girl, among others. At the New York City Opera, he sang in Regina, Street Scene, The Ballad of Baby Doe and a German production of The Threepenny Opera. At Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theatre, he played in a two-person revue, Together at Last, with his late wife, Maria Karnilova, and a one-man show, An Evening with W.S. Gilbert.
In 2008 Irving recreated the three roles he originally played in the ill-fated 1976 Joseph Stein musical So Long, 174th Street, now reworked, revised, and with its original title Enter Laughing at Off-Broadway's York Theatre Company, and received rave reviews for his rendition of "The Butler's Song". On December 8, 2008, aged 86, Irving received the 17th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.
For an extensive inter view with Irving, timed to celebrations in 2004 of his 60th anniversary in the business, click here.
Irving was married to actress Maria Karnilova from 1948 until her death in 2001. They had a son, Alexander of Oceanside, California, a daughter, Katherine Irving of South Salem, New York, and three grandchildren.